Rafael Pérez (baseball)

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Rafael Pérez
Rafael Pérez.jpg
Perez with the Cleveland Indians
Free agent
Born: (1982-05-15) May 15, 1982 (age 33)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
April 20, 2006, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
(through 2012 season)
Win–loss record 21–12
Earned run average 3.64
Strikeouts 268

Rafael Jerome Pérez (born May 15, 1982) is a left-handed professional baseball relief pitcher who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians as an undrafted free agent in January 2002 and played with them through 2012. He currently lives in Freeport, New York, on Long Island.

Professional career[edit]

Cleveland Indians[edit]

In 2002, Pérez finished second in the Dominican Summer League with a 0.96 ERA. In 2003, he was named Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year playing for the Single-A Burlington Indians and led the Appalachian League in wins (9-3) and ERA (1.70).In 2005, his 12 wins tied for 3rd in Indians organization and he had a 2.62 ERA in 29 combined appearances (22 starts) for Kinston and Akron. He was added to the Indians 40-man roster in November. In 2006, Pérez had a 2.81 ERA in 12 starts with Akron and a 2.63 ERA in 13 relief appearances with Triple-A Buffalo.

He made his major League debut on April 20, 2006, against Baltimore, pitching one inning and striking out two.[1]

Pérez was not expected to be a major part of the Indians' major league club in 2007, but he surprised the Indians organization after he was called up from the team's Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, on May 28. Pérez was initially slated for long relief, but after he demonstrated his ability to pitch in tight situations, he was inserted into a setup role alongside right-handed reliever Rafael Betancourt. The two setup men were nicknamed Raffy Left and Raffy Right by local Indians fans.[2] Pérez, with his hard fastball and tight slider, quickly became one of the most dominant relievers in the league. In 2007, Pérez posted a sparkling 1.78 ERA, over 6023 innings pitched in 44 appearances. He had a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of only .923, and has held left-handed batters to just a .145 batting average. ESPN analyst Peter Gammons called him "arguably the best left-handed reliever on the planet."[citation needed]

2013: Boston, Minnesota[edit]

On February 14, 2013, Pérez signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins.[3][4] He was released on May 17[5] after appearing in only four games for the Rochester Red Wings and signed with the Boston Red Sox organization on May 23.[6] With the AA Portland Sea Dogs, he pitched in 25 games and was 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA.

2014: Texas, Mexico, Pittsburgh[edit]

He signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers on January 18, 2014[7] but only appeared in four games for the Round Rock Express before he was released on April 17.[8][9] He spent the next few months in the Mexican League with the Rojos del Águila de Veracruz where he was 3-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 10 games, including 8 starts. He signed a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 12, 2014 and pitched for the AAA Indianapolis Indians where he was 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 10 games (another 8 starts).[10]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

Perez signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners on February 12, 2015.[11] He was released on July 2nd.


  1. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (9 June 2006). "Performance cost Sauerbeck". MLB.com. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Hackenberg, Dave (12 October 2007). "A reasonable look at Cleveland-Boston series". the Toledo Blade. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Twins sign lefty Rafael Perez". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 14, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Left-hander R. Perez invited to camp". MLB.com. February 14, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ Berardino, Mike (May 17, 2013). "Minnesota Twins release pitcher Rafael Perez". Pioneer Press. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ Eddy, Matt (June 1, 2013). "Minor League Transactions: May 22-29". Baseball America. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ Nowak, Joey (January 18, 2014). "Texas signs veteran lefty Perez, offers invite to camp". MLB.com. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  8. ^ Eddy, Matt (April 19, 2014). "Minor League Transactions: April 11-17". Baseball America. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  9. ^ Fraley, Gerry (April 19, 2014). "Fraley: Rangers continue to test depth with longest disabled list in the MLB". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ Sawchik, Travis (July 12, 2014). "Pirates notebook: Similarity found in Alvarez throwing errors". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Mariners sign LHP Rafael Perez to Minor League contract". MLB.com. February 12, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 

External links[edit]